On Saturday Martin, Julie, and I went to the Barnes Foundation to look at the art and stroll the grounds. For those of you who aren't in the Philly area the Barnes Foundation is an Arboretum school, an art school, and a museum with one of the largest collections of Impressionist paintings in the world, and all of this in a little suburb of Philly.
I took lots of pictures of flowers and things.
I, being a sensible fellow, decided on getting the audio tour (as did Julie). I set it to guide me through the highlights of the collection, since this was my first time and I wanted to see the 'good stuff.' All was fine while I was on the first floor. I enjoyed my time looking at priceless art and having art snobs whisper in my ear telling me all about what the hell I was looking at.
However, on the second floor I met my Barnes Foundation nemesis. She stood five foot nothing, with a shock of white hair. She seemed to be in her late 70's and she also had the telltale headphones of the audio tour on her wizened ears. We were both looking at the same, numbered artwork, so it was obvious that we were both doing the highlight tour.
I know what you're thinking, this a nemesis does not make. Keep reading.
I enter the room and look at the painting the audio tour is whispering to me about, and my nemesis is seated on a bench looking at the same painting. After a minute or two she gets up and shuffles to the next gallery. Obviously she was ahead of me in the tour and was off to the next 'stop.'
The audio tour tells me to make my way to the next painting, and I oblige. Lo and behold there is my nemesis looking at the same painting I am about to enjoy. She looks at me and then back to the painting. After a minute she leaves the room and goes into the next.
'Hmm', I thought, 'that's odd. Maybe this section is short.' I finish listening to the commentary and it was definitely longer than the length of time she stayed in the room. 'This painting might not have done it for her.'
I go into the next room, and there she is in her blue track suit. As soon as she sees me enter the room, she leaves. Now I know for certain that this lady is my Barnes Foundation nemesis. She just doesn't want to be in the same room as me. I finish up in the room and go to the next. She sees me, and leaves. She is missing HUGE parts of the tour at this point, just trying to avoid me.
Soon I start walking a little more briskly than my nemesis is able to on her withered limbs, and I make sure that I am standing next to her in each of the rooms before she has a chance to make her elderly retreat.
She finally just goes down to the first floor and leaves the second floor to me. I am victorious!
The moral of the story? Old ladies don't like fat guys in loud shirts, I suppose.
Other than that, the place was marvelous as was the company of Martin and Julie.